Sasha has a unique attention grabbing style when it comes to letting us know she's upset. Most often this is displayed when a toy or other item of interest is pried out of her vice-like grip. It really goes in three stages. I'll explain them for you. The following images are recreations of true events, but the faces have been changed to protect the accused. Also, the pictures don't really do her justice - our bodies don't bend like hers does!
Stage one - The pout
In stage one she will place her chin firmly against her chest and protrude her bottom lip outward in excess of average toddler specifications. This is often accompanied by eyes of an accusatory nature toward the recipient of the pout.
Stage two - The bridge back arch
Here our daughter puts her entire body into play. She flings her head back to make contact with the floor behind her and then rounds her back making her stomach lift into the air. Her arms and hands will often extend to both sides to offer support.
Stage three - The tears
When all other options have been exhausted, our daughter then goes into full cry mode. In this stage, the tears come from her eyes and one cannot help but do everything in their power to make everything better. Through skill and experience, we have prevented any of her episodes from escalating beyond this point.
Stage four - Unknown
As of this date we have yet to experience a stage four event. One can assume from analysis of previous stages, that stage four will likely result in the end of the world as we know it through some sort of massive explosion. May God have mercy on all our souls if that day arrives.
Other news and thoughts (Jamie writing now):
The coolest thing about our visits today came in the first minute of our arrival. When we walked in her room, Sasha looked up, recognized us, and walked right over with a big smile on her face! The other days we've needed to walk over and pick her up, which is no biggie, but it felt so great to be greeted with a smile and body language that says, "let's go play!"
Also, Sasha had her passport/visa photos taken today! A photographer comes around to the baby house every couple of weeks and takes photos of all of the kids who are in the adoption process, and it feels great to be one tiny step closer to the completion of her US and Kazakh paperwork.
In Utah news, Sam lost another tooth yesterday! Here's a photo from the grandmas of him, one tooth down and two Lego sets up (he's enjoying some early birthday presents!) The gap looks good on you, Buddy! And yesterday as we Skyped with the Utah crowd we got to see Ben in his newly acquired hairnet - the "hat they gave me at my field trip to the grocery store." Another bold look for the Morningstar boys.
Health-wise, we're doing a little better. Well, actually, Steve's fine and dandy, but I've still got a stupid cough which, judging by some of the comments, may hang around for a while. We've been advised that vodka is the surest cure for a cough (and for most other ailments, I gather), so between your prayers, the cold meds, and my medicinal consumption of vodka (which feels far better on my throat than I would have guessed) I'm sure I'll be on the mend soon.
And wonder of wonders, the major event for tomorrow is that we plan to do laundry! Oh, yes, we will have two clean pair of pants each! I feel so decedent even planning it. The idea of washing our jeans in the hotel sink was not appealing. Our travel partners moved into their apartment and offered to have us over for dinner, cards, and the use of their washing machine. Hooray! It looks like we'll be stuck in the hotel for a little while longer, but hopefully we'll be in an apartment by the end of the week.
Prayer requests: For the short term, I would really love to lose this cough. And if we could sleep in past 5 am, that would be lovely as well (but we're sure that will come in time as our bodies adjust).
Longer term, please join us in prayer even now that Sasha would quickly come to understand that we are truly special people in her life, different than any caregiver relationship she has ever had. We are so grateful for the strides the three of us have already made in attachment, and we pray that our little girl will understand in her heart that something truly special is happening to her and that she is coming into a family who will love her and care for her, forever.